Buffalo Bills Week 14 Report Card: Chan abandons running game, Bills lose

2012-12-09T16:04:00Z 2012-12-09T19:46:20Z Buffalo Bills Week 14 Report Card: Chan abandons running game, Bills loseRobert Harding Auburn Citizen
December 09, 2012 4:04 pm  • 

Last week, the Buffalo Bills' dynamic running back duo rushed the ball nearly 40 times in a 34-18 win over Jacksonville.

On Sunday, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller had 16 carries. Combined. 

The Bills lost to St. Louis 15-12 and are now 5-8 this season. If you're a Bills fan, you can point your finger at one person: Head coach Chan Gailey. 

Here is this week's Buffalo Bills report card:

GRADING THE UNITS

OFFENSE - D

This wasn't a pretty game for the Bills offense.

Ryan Fitzpatrick had a decent day, throwing for 247 yards and a touchdown. But he couldn't lead the Bills down the field on the final drive and ended up throwing an interception. That was the end of the game for Buffalo.

The running game was non-existent, thanks to the coach. Spiller had seven carries for 37 yards and while he showed flashes of brilliance, he didn't have a lot of opportunities. (Thanks to the coach.) Jackson had more carries, but he also lost a fumble -- a fumble that proved to be costly. 

Stevie Johnson had six catches for 71 yards. Tight end Scott Chandler had five grabs for 71 yards. 

But enough about stats. The Bills didn't move the ball well today. They did have some opportunities, but when you punt the ball seven times and lose a fumble on one of your better drives, you probably won't win. 

DEFENSE - B-

The defense had another good game, but they didn't come through in the clutch.

In fact, they didn't come through in the second half. They shut the Rams out in the first half, but the Rams came back in the second half and scored 15 points. Clearly, they made adjustments and found weaknesses in the defense. The Bills didn't have an answer.

Another low point: George Wilson had two opportunities to intercept passes and dropped them both. He had a better shot at the first one, but he still dropped both. You need to make those plays. 

Low point II: Stephon Gilmore had a nice interception return for a touchdown, but it was called back. Why? One of the worst holding calls you will see. Obviously, this one isn't on the Bills. But the call was one of the plays that ended up making a difference. 

Mario Williams had another good game, with one sack and a forced fumble. He now has 10.5 sacks this season.

SPECIAL TEAMS - B

Leodis McKelvin had a nice day returning kicks for Buffalo. He returned two kicks for 57 yards and four punts for 44 yards. I would be surprised if he wasn't a Pro Bowler. He has been a great returner all season.

Rian Lindell kicked two field goals, including a 40-yarder. But he didn't get the chance to kick a 52-yarder in the second half. I'm sure he's not happy about that decision. 

Shawn Powell was busy Sunday. He had seven punts and placed three inside the 20. Not a bad day punting, but he couldn't handle the snap on an extra point attempt in the third quarter. It was wet, but it's also Buffalo. In December. Get used to it. 

COACHING - F

I don't care about what the defensive coordinator did or what the special teams coach did. This is all about Chan. 

The bottom line: He isn't fit to coach this team. Period. His tenure with the Bills should end after the season. 

One of his biggest crimes this season is not running the ball enough. He doesn't utilize C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson enough. Sure, he's had his moments. Last week was an example. But this week is just one of many pieces of evidence against him.

The fact Spiller touched the ball only eight times is criminal. Forget the Bills. Spiller is one of the most explosive players in the NFL. Why aren't you using him? He should have, at the very least, 15 or 20 touches a game. Give. Him. The. Ball. 

Jackson had 14 touches today, but five of them came on pass plays. Spiller is a much more explosive player. But Jackson is still useful. He can power it inside and he's a good receiver. Use him. 

The Bills ran 58 plays Sunday. Jackson and Spiller had 16 carries. They should've had 14 or 15 more. The fact they didn't is why Gailey isn't fit to coach this team. He doesn't know how to use the talent he has. It's time for him to go.

Game Ball

Leodis McKelvin. McKelvin had four tackles and was good in the return game. He deserves some recognition, mostly because of his special teams play. He had a good game when many of his teammates didn't.

Needs Improvement

Wide receivers. Other than Stevie Johnson, there isn't a lot to like about the Bills' receiving corps. It's an area they need to address in the offseason, whether it's in free agency or the draft. They need more weapons and deep threats. T.J. Graham is a start, but they need more. 

Up Next

At 4:05 p.m. Sunday, the Bills will host Seattle. The game will be played in Toronto at the Rogers Centre. 

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